The final matches of the Champions League group stages can occasionally be something of a football betting minefield, with certain teams putting out much-changed line-ups or having nothing to play for.
However, these fixtures also provide an opportunity for educated punters to catch the bookies out and the same can certainly be said of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
We’ve picked out four teams – two from each competition – who are playing on Tuesday night and a strong case can be made for all of them to triumph.
New customers to bwin receive a free £25 bet and using it on this accumulator would return a cool if our quality quartet do the business.
Olympiakos to beat Arsenal @ 87/100
Greek side Olympiakos should be trusted to make history repeat itself and beat an under-strength Arsenal side in Champions League Group F. In 2009, the already-qualified Gunners played a second-string side away in Greece and were beaten 1-0. Exactly two years on, the same situation has arisen and with Olympiakos looking for a win that could secure qualification to the last 16, the odds on the home win are better than would be expected. The Greeks have a very strong home record in Europe, losing just two of the last 14 Champions League games and are unbeaten in five home league games this season, scoring 13 goals along the way.
Borussia Dortmund to beat Marseille @ 67/100
German giants Borussia Dortmund have endured a difficult Champions League campaign but they can secure European football in the New Year by beating Marseille at home. Dortmund are currently bottom of Group F but will leapfrog their French opponents with a four-goal win. Dortmund have taken 16 points out of the last 18 in the Bundesliga to climb to the summit, an impressive run which includes a win at Bayern Munich. Marseille have been in decent form themselves but don’t travel too well – they have won just two away games in Ligue 1 this term, keeping only one clean sheet.
Oldham Athletic to beat Bradford City @ 31/50
Bradford have had a good season in the cups but could well come unstuck away to League One opponents Oldham Athletic in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern semi-final. League Two Bantams have knocked out bitter rivals Huddersfield as well as the two Sheffield clubs, all on penalties, to get this far but Oldham may have too much. Paul Dickov’s Latics come into the match in decent form with just one defeat in six games, but they have taken ten points from their last six home games and have won all three games at Boundary Park against teams currently in the bottom half of League One. That form should be enough to beat a team from a lower division who haven’t won away from home all season.
Brentford to beat Barnet @ evens
One of the JPT southern semi-finals sees Barnet host Brentford in a tie that could go the way of the League One side. Brentford have had their troubles at home but only Charlton have taken more points on the road in the division than Uwe Rosler’s side, who have lost just one of nine. They have won all four away games against teams in the bottom half and should prove too strong for League Two Barnet, who have their own problems with homesickness. Lawrie Sanchez’s men have lost four of their last six at home in the league and come off the back of a home defeat to another League One side, MK Dons, in the FA Cup on Saturday.
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